Friday, April 30, 2010

So Long and Thanks for the Humidors

Sean and I wish to send out a most hearty thank you to everyone who made it out to the last twelve weeks of Metro Classics.  Your support turned this series into our most profitable to date.  Take that Gone with the Wind!  We're taking a three month hiatus but we'll be back in good old Theatre #10 this August with two back-to-back nine-week series.  We've already got the themes, titles and dates mapped out, we're just awaiting confirmation from the studios.  There are a whole bunch of fun films lined up so stayed tuned to this page for updates as they arrive.  We will also attempt to get at least a few new posts up here each week so this blog doesn't turn into some digital wasteland.  Expect some Critics Agree posts and maybe a round-up from Sean's trip to the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Thanks again everyone for making Metro Classics such a rousing success!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 5 Top 5 Lists Related To, But Not Including, Serenity

Top 5 TV Shows At Least Partially Written By Joss Whedon:

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Firefly
3. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
4. Dollhouse
5. Angel

Top 5 Movies At Least Partially Written By Joss Whedon:

1. Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)
2. Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994)
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Fran Rubel Kuzui, 1992)
4. Alien: Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1997)
5. Twister (Jan de Bont, 1996)

Top 5 Chiwetel Ejiofor Films:

1. Redbelt (David Mamet, 2008)
2. The Inside Man (Spike Lee, 2006)
3. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
4. Amistad (Steven Spielberg, 1997)
5. Melinda and Melinda (Woody Allen, 2004)

Top 5 Science Fiction Films of the 2000s:

1. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
2. AI: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
4. Signs (M. Night Shyamalan, 2002)
4. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2002)
5. A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 2006)

Top 5 Films of 2005:

1. The New World (Terrence Malick)
2. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
3. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
4. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
5. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Links: Serenity

The great Manohla Dargis reviews Serenity in the New York Times, and makes fun of George Lucas as an added bonus.

Mike Dawson of Left Field Cinema does an excellent job breaking down the first ten minutes of Serenity, examining its tremendous narrative economy in this podcast.

For all matter of Joss Whedon related news, information and discussion, check out the comprehensive Whedonesque blog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coming Attractions: Serenity

Wednesday, April 28 at 6:50 and 9:10 PM.

Giveaways: A Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog DVD courtesy of Scarecrow Video and a gift certificate to Cinema Books, respectively.

Last show til August!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


At 6:50 and 9:10 P.M.

Please note that due to the poor quality of the 35mm print we were shipped, we will instead be showing Wrath of Khan on a back-up digital high-definition copy.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Top 5 Top 5 Lists Related To, But Not Including, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Top 5 Non-Star Trek William Shatner Films:

1. Judgment at Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer, 1961)
2. Dodgeball (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2004)
3. Airplane II: The Sequel (Ken Finkleman, 1982)
4. The Brothers Karamazov (Richard Brooks, 1958)
5. Loaded Weapon 1 (Gene Quintano, 1993)

Top 5 Movies with "Star" in the Title:

1. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
2. A Star is Born (William Wellman, 1937 & George Cukor, 1954)
3. Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)
4. Lone Star (John Sayles, 1996)
5. Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980)

Top 5 Ricardo Montalban Films:

1. The Naked Gun (David Zucker, 1988)
2. Battleground (William Wellman, 1949)
3. Cheyenne Autumn (John Ford, 1964)
4. Border Incident (Anthony Mann, 1949)
5. Sayonara (Joshua Logan, 1957)

Top 5 Film Series with More than Three Parts:

1. Star Wars
2. Rocky
3. Once Upon a Time in China
4. The Thin Man
5. Lone Wolf and Cub

Top 5 Films of 1982:

1. Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog)
2. Passion (Jean-Luc Godard)
3. The Verdict (Sidney Lumet)
4. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
5. The Atomic Café (Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Links: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Overthinking It takes two plot holes from Wrath of Khan and well, overthinks it.

More information than you could ever possibly require is available at Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki.

And finally, Roger Ebert's original review of the film from 1982.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wrath of Khan Related Meme of the Day

Pre-Game Warm-Up: Galaxy Quest

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a trekkie. In fact, before seeing a smattering of the original series and the first two films in the franchise in anticipation of J.J. Abrams' enjoyable reboot last summer, I had never seen a scrap of Star Trek. I have always pledged allegiance to George Lucas and his Star Wars universe, despite how much he desecrates the legacy in the future. I can't help it, I was born into it. I will no doubt spend my final breaths defending Revenge of the Sith. But I digress.

The Star Trek that I have seen has charmed me in its earnest proseltyzing and utter geekiness. I like how the world is based in some sort of scientific fact. There is at least an attempt at explaining the peculiarities. There are also myriad tropes that appear time and again within the show's universe that become familiar friends as you learn the Universe's language. (I mean that metaphorically, I'm not even close to taking a linguistics course in Klingon.) This brief introduction to the series was more than enough to prepare me for the inside jokes and affectionate parodying of Galaxy Quest, easily the greatest non-animated Tim Allen movie of all time.

I had heard of Galaxy Quest for years before only recently catching up with it.  Most of the praise beamed my way was from my hopelessly geeky older brother who saw it in an empty theatre when it opened back in 1999.  He went on a lark with little expectations and was completely blown away, rolling on the floor in laughter within minutes.  On many occasions in the ensuing decade he would regale me with some Galaxy Quest anecdote.  I steered clear.  You see, my big brother and I agree completely on about two-thirds of art but on that other third we are diametrically opposed.  He hates Bob Dylan and was indifferent to the Wire.  That's all I'm saying*.  I figured Galaxy Quest fell into that black hole.  How wrong I was.

The plot of Galaxy Quest is that of a thinly-disguised Star Trek cast actually being sent to outer space to help an alien race fend off a vicious insectoid villain and his army.  The aliens mistook transmissions of the long-cancelled show as documents of heroic battles fought many years ago on Earth, not cheap syndicated teleplays.  Tim Allen plays the Kirk-esque commander and he is wonderful.  His unwarranted braggadocio and cocky swagger are perfect for the clueless captain.  The supporting cast too is a treasure trove.  Tony Shalhoub as a stoned Scotty; Sigourney Weaver as a Uhura with few lines (on the fictional show) but ample cleavage; Alan Rickman as a serious thespian remembered solely for his Spock-like alien; and the amazing Sam Rockwell as a one-off red shirt (heretofore unseen extra who is beamed down to that week's planet and inevitably dies a grisly death) who inadvertently joins the fun.

The movie perfectly straddles a fine line of mocking the tropes of Star Trek and the lives of its legions of fans while showing a sincere love for the world and its followers as well.  It's meta without being pretentious, geeky without being marginal and hilarious without being vindictive.  It is truly my favorite Star Trek film (J.J. Abrams's too apparently) despite it not actually being affiliated with the series.  Hopefully we muster up the courage to show Galaxy Quest as a future Metro Classic.  Until then, rent it (or win it this week thanks to Scarecrow), glue on your Spock ears, snuggle up to your loved ones proceed to pee your Underoos in mirth.

*We both don't dig Mad Men so that counts for something.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coming Attractions: Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan

Wednesday, April 21st at 6:50 & 9:10 PM.

Giveaways: Galaxy Quest DVD courtesy of Scarecrow Video and a gift certificate for Cinema Books, respectively.

See you there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 5 Top 5 Lists Related To, But Not Including, Aliens

Top 5 James Cameron Films:

1. The Terminator (1984)
2. The Abyss (1989)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. True Lies (1994)
5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Top 5 Sigourney Weaver Films:

1. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
2. Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)
3. The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, 1997)
4. Galaxy Quest (Dean Parisot, 1999)
5. Death and the Maiden (Roman Polanski, 1994)

Top 5 Sequels:

1. The Godfather, Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
2. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966)
3. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
4. Ivan the Terrible, Part II (Sergei Eisenstein, 1958)
5. Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa, 1962)

Top 5 1980s Sci-Fi Action Films:

1. The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984)
2. Predator (John McTiernan, 1987)
3. The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981)
4. Conan the Barbarian (John Milius, 1982)
5. Escape From New York/The Thing (John Carpenter, 1981/82)

Top 5 Films of 1986:

1. Hannah And Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
2. The Mission (Roland Joffé)
3. Platoon/Salvador (Oliver Stone)
4. Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch)
5. Top Gun (Tony Scott)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Links: Aliens

Adam and Matty at Filmspotting recently counted down their top five films of 1986 and Aliens was conspicuously absent.  Listeners inundated them with support for the film.

Did you know Jimmy Cameron just went to Brazil, put on a bunch of yellow face paint and planted some trees??

And last but not least there is the 10-minute Aliens rap:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coming Attractions: Aliens

Wednesday, April 14th at 6:40 and 9:20

Giveaways: Alien DVD courtesy of Scarecrow Video and a gift certificate for Cinema Books, respectively.

See you there!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


At 6:50 & 9:10 P.M.

Now with a bonus giveaway of two tickets per show to the Intiman Theatre's production of Clifford Odets's Paradise Lost playing through April 25th!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top 5 Lists Related To, But Not Including, Barton Fink

Top 5 Coen Brothers Films:

1. The Big Lebowski (1998)
2. Miller's Crossing (1990)
3. No Country for Old Men (2007)
4. Raising Arizona (1987)
5. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Top 5 Non-Coen John Turturro Films:

1. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
2. Quiz Show (Robert Redford, 1994)
3. The Color of Money (Martin Scorsese, 1986)
4. Rounders (John Dahl, 1998)
5. Cradle Will Rock (Tom Robbins, 1999)

Top 5 Non-Coen John Goodman Films:

1. Speed Racer (The Wachowskis, 2008)
2. Monsters, Inc (Pete Docter, 2001)
3. Bringing Out the Dead (Martin Scorsese, 1999)
4. Masked and Anonymous (Larry Charles, 2003)
5. King Ralph (David S. Ward, 1991)

Top 5 Post-1980 Palme D'Or Winners:

1. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
2. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, 2006)
3. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
5. Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980)

Top 5 Films of 1991:

1. L.A. Story (Mick Jackson)
2. Slacker (Richard Linklater)
3. The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
4. Les amants du Pont-Neuf (Leos Carax)
5. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Links: Barton Fink

Offscreen hosts a 23-page essay by Randall Barnes on the expert sound design of Barton Fink.

The A.V. Club analyzes the early scene when Barton checks into the Hotel Earle in their Scenic Route series.

Heading to L.A. soon?  If so, you can visit the shooting locations of Barton Fink thanks to 

A pair of bonus links this week since Sean and I were too lazy to write anything original for the blog.  Back in 2007 we participated in a Coen Bros blog-a-thon (that coincidentally everyone else was too lazy to write anything for).   Sean expertly defends the Coens from attacks by ivory-tower-ensconced critics, while I just basically drool over the Man Who Wasn't There.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Top 5 Top 5 Lists Related to This Weekend

Top 5 Holiday Movie Traditions:

1. It's a Wonderful Life at Christmas
2. Scary Movies on Halloween
3. The Wizard of Oz at Thanksgiving
4. Duck Soup on The 4th of July
5. The Ten Commandments on Easter

Top 5 Movies about Jesus (which I may or may not have seen):

1. The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)
2. Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979)
3. King of Kings (Nicholas Ray, 1961)
4. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964)
5. King of Kings (Cecil B. DeMille, 1927)

Top 5 Movie Bunnies:

1. Bugs
2. Harvey
3. Roger Rabbit
4. The White Rabbit
5. Fiver

Top 5 Movie Resurrections:

1. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
2. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)
3. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
4. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
5. Alien: Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1997)

Top 5 Films that Sound Like They Should be About this Weekend, but Really Aren't:

1. Easter Parade (Charles Walters, 1948)
2. Early Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1956)
3. Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim, 1922)
4. The Egg and I (Chester Erskine, 1947)
5. The Long Good Friday (John Mackenzie, 1980)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Coming Attractions: Barton Fink

Wednesday, April 7th at 6:50 & 9:10 P.M.

Giveaways: Miller's Crossing DVD courtesy of Scarecrow Video and a gift certificate to Cinema Books, respectively.

See you there!